Ok, so I can’t tell a lie…when it comes to Thanksgiving, I have an ulterior motive.
I make sure to cook enough food to satisfy a college football team, twice over. Go big or go home.
Hands down though, my favorite leftover combination is a turkey sandwich, on a soft roll, piled high with cranberry chutney and spicy brown mustard. These sweet potato rolls transform my leftover turkey sandwich into a divine experience. Comforting and absolutely delicious.
This recipe makes rolls that are just a bit sweet with a hint of orange. The flavor of sweet potato is very delicate, but it does impart an earthy complexity and gorgeous orange hue to the rolls. Soft and rich, these rolls are the perfect accompaniment to your holiday table.
Sweet Potato Orange Dinner Rolls
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (click here for the mix I use)
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch (also referred to as tapioca flour)*
- 3 tablepoons ground golden flax **
- 1 ¼ teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- ¼ cup orange juice (from the zested orange)
- exactly ¾ cup smoothly mashed sweet potato (bright orange flesh with darker skin) ***
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 lightly beaten egg (for egg wash)
→ Grease a 10 inch cake pan or 9 x 13 inch metal baking pan. Set aside.
→ In a bowl, dissolve the yeast and granulated sugar in the warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
→ In your standing mixer (paddle attachment) combine the flour, tapioca starch, ground flax, xanthan gum, sea salt, and brown sugar. Mix briefly to combine.
→ When the yeast is ready, add it to the dry ingredients, along with the oil, eggs, orange juice, sweet potato puree, and orange zest.
→ Mix for 2-3 minutes on Medium speed. The batter will be very thick and sticky and should NOT clear the sides of the mixing bowl (gluten-free dough is more like a “batter” because it shouldn’t come together like wheat bread dough). Add an additional tablespoon or two of warm water if the dough looks too dry.
→ Using a greased muffin scoop, or large spoon drop rounds of dough (4 tablespoons each) into prepared pan. Nestle the dough 1 ½ inches apart so it has a bit of room to rise. (see picture below)
→ Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and place in a warm (80 degree) place. Allow the rolls to rise (they should double in size) for 60-75 minutes .
→ Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
→ Bake the rolls on the center rack for 10 minutes. Remove the rolls from oven and quickly brush the tops with a beaten egg.
→ Return rolls to the oven and bake for 40 more minutes or until deep golden brown. So that the tops of your rolls don’t get too dark, loosely drape a piece of aluminum foil over the top for the last 10-15 minutes.
→ Allow the rolls to cool in the pan briefly, then carefully turn them out and cool on a rack (to avoid soggy bottoms!) for 15-2o minutes before serving. Serve warm.
→ Freeze leftover rolls in heavy duty plastic freezer bags. I make mine a few days ahead, freeze, then thaw, wrap in foil and warm in the oven for the big day.
* Arrowroot starch, or cornstarch would work too, depending on what your diet allows.
** I used golden flax, but you could also use regular ground flax, millet flour or sorghum flour.
*** Resist the urge to add more sweet potato! I love the stuff, so during recipe development I tried to put a bit more in the dough, but the rolls just won’t rise enough with the weight of the moist sweet potatoes. Also, when measuring out the 3/4 cup of mashed sweet potato, pack it into your measuring cup with a spatula, trying to ensure that there are no air pockets.